Causes of laryngitis

Causes of laryngitis is a complex of factors that cause illness in an adult or a child. The following causes of this pathology are distinguished - exposure to viruses, microbes, allergens and other aggressive, irritating agents, and also determine the risk factors - environmental pollution, the presence of chronic diseases that make the body more susceptible to the formation of laryngitis.

Causative agent

The causative agents of the disease are various agents that cause changes in the laryngeal mucosa. These include viruses, bacteria, fungi and protozoa. Most often, laryngitis develops as symptoms of a respiratory disease of viral or bacterial etiology.


Viral laryngitis is one of the most common forms of this pathology. The development of laryngitis occurs as a result of reproduction on the mucous membrane of various viruses (there are more than 200 of them), the most common influenza viruses, parainfluenza, rhinoviruses, adenoviruses, parvoviruses, coronaviruses and others. Because of the effects of these pathogens, a person develops a respiratory disease of viral etiology, one of the symptoms of which is laryngitis. A viral disease develops rapidly, sometimes within 5-10 hours from the moment of infection, clinical symptoms unfold.

Usually, pathogen viruses cause an acute form of the disease, but without proper treatment, even if they get rid of the primary cause of the occurrence, that is, viral exposure, the viral laryngitis itself can become chronic.


Different types of bacteria are constantly present in the human body, among which are opportunistic, that is, those that can rapidly multiply under favorable conditions, while weakening the body, and cause various diseases. Such bacterial pathogens include representatives of the classes Staphylococcus and Streptococcus. In addition, S. pneumoniae and H. influenzae microorganisms can cause laryngitis. Less commonly, Moraxella catarrhalis, Neisseries, and Corynebacteria are detected in bacposae. All of these bacterial agents are considered typical pathogens of laryngitis. The ureaplasma, mycoplasma and chlamydia are referred to as atypical, as the listed bacteria more often primarily affect the urogenital system, and in the laryngeal area they can appear only in certain cases, for example, when a child passes through the mother’s infected birth canal, or during oral sexual contact with an infected person.

The most dangerous causative agents of laryngitis are bacterium Pseudomonas mallei, which causes acute glanders, and bacillus Bac. Anthracis is the causative agent of anthrax laryngitis.

As a rule, the activity of a bacterial agent begins to manifest itself against the background of a viral disease, that is, in the presence of viral laryngitis, the bacterial infection joins as a secondary pathology. The bacterial type of the disease occurs in an acute form, it can turn into chronic:

  • catarrhal;
  • hypertrophic;
  • atrophic.

In addition, laryngitis, formed as a result of bacterial activity, can cause a stenosing or phlegmonous form of the disease.

In some infectious diseases that are transmitted by airborne droplets, manifestations of acute laryngitis are one of the symptoms of the prodromal periods, i.e. period of disease before the appearance of typical clinical manifestations. This is possible with measles, chicken pox, scarlet fever, whooping cough.


Allergy is a pathological immune response to normal external phenomena that normally should not cause any atypical response from the body. The reaction proceeds due to the hypersensitivity of the immune system to repeated exposure to allergens.

Allergic laryngitis is one of the manifestations of allergy, it is caused by various external stimuli, depending on the degree of sensitivity of a particular human body.

The most common allergens are:

  • household: dust, animal hair, feathers of birds, household chemicals, coloring agents, hygiene products;
  • food: allergies can cause any food, but most often it is seafood, strawberries, chocolate, nuts, honey, dairy food, eggs;
  • natural: pollen, down;
  • drug: the cause of occurrence is to take certain groups of drugs;
  • infectious: fungi and viruses;
  • industrial: car exhaust gases, chemicals in the environment, gas emissions.

In adults and children, an allergic reaction develops due to prolonged contact with the allergen, and also against the background of constant hypothermia of the body, active or passive smoking, eating too cold or too hot food and drinks.


The larynx is the organ of human speech, through which he makes sounds. If it is inflamed, the patient has problems with breathing and voice, which changes, becomes hoarse and hoarse.

According to the provisions of psychosomatics, laryngitis is inextricably linked with psychological causes, internal psychological conflict. It is believed that only the traditional treatment of laryngitis in this case will not be enough, and to help the patient, you need to turn to psychotherapists.

The main symptom that determines the nature of the disease is the loss of voice. Where does aphonia come from? According to the provisions of psychosomatics, the loss of voice comes because of the fear of saying something, or because of the suppression of emotions and statements, for fear of being misunderstood or unheard.

The disease can develop in people who are afraid of public speaking if a person is afraid to appear before a large number of people. Fear in such a case literally closes the throat, as a result of which the voice disappears. Laryngitis is the result of the inability to express their feelings when the patient literally “swallows” the words, and this action brings physical pain, as the words seem to be stuck in the throat.

Psychosomatic cause of the disease can be called the expression “keep your mouth shut” when a person is afraid to let himself go, restrains himself, or, on the contrary, thinks he said something superfluous.

Fear of expressing oneself, one's feelings and emotions is harmful to health, deprives a person of ease and ease of existence. For people who are often tormented by laryngitis, psychologists are advised to learn not to restrain themselves, to express their emotions verbally. In the presence of anger and annoyance due to unexpressed emotions, it is necessary to work on the existing internal conflict, and also it is necessary to pay enough attention to emotional relaxation.

Appearing against other diseases

Laryngitis can develop as a complication of other diseases, infectious and non-infectious nature, with diseases of the lungs, gastrointestinal tract, heart failure, problems with the kidneys and liver.

Not quite a typical cause of the disease is syphilis, in which infection of the larynx is pale treponema, gastroesophageal reflux syndrome - the reverse movement of the contents of the stomach into the esophagus. If the gastric secretion reaches the larynx, the mucosa is exposed to the aggressive action of acids and begins to inflame.

Is the disease contagious?

The larynx is the organ responsible for the ability to make sounds. Most often, inflammation is caused by bacteria and viruses that attack the mucous membranes, especially against the background of excessive vocal pressure, especially in individuals with professional voice use. Whether laryngitis is contagious, is it a danger to others - it depends on the etiology of the disease.

Viral or bacterial laryngitis, caused by any type of microorganism, is an infectious disease, since when contacted with a patient, pathogens can be transmitted to a healthy person. As for chronic laryngitis in catarrhal, hypertrophic or atrophic form, this pathology is considered non-infectious. Allergic laryngitis and laryngitis associated with mechanical trauma, burns and other physical injuries are also not dangerous for other people.

Ways of transmission

Transmission of contagious forms of the disease occurs mainly by airborne droplets, while communicating with the patient. Another variant of laryngitis infection is through household contacts, kisses, and the use of common utensils. It should be noted that in this case only the pathogens of pathogenic microorganisms are transmitted, but the formation of laryngitis does not occur in every case of infection. The body’s individual response to the pathogen may differ. Atypical pathogens, for example, Bac. Anthracis, enter the body through the fecal-oral route.

Causes of frequent laryngitis

Factors that provoke the frequent occurrence of the disease in adults and children can be divided into external and internal. External exposure, often contributing to the development of diseases and their transition to the chronic form in adults - is smoking, active or passive. There is even such a thing as a smoker's laryngitis.

Impact on the development of recurrent episodes of the disease has polluted air, work in conditions of highly dusty air, excessively high or low temperatures.

Constant use of very hot and cold drinks and food depletes the mucous, making it more vulnerable to pathogens. In people whose work is connected with the constant tension of the vocal cords (teachers, singers, speakers), frequent laryngitis is common. The internal causes of frequent laryngitis are mainly in the presence of chronic sources of infection in the body, associated diseases, such as chronic rhinitis, pharyngitis or tonsillitis, and allergies. Also the appearance of the disease especially in children contribute to the structure of the larynx.

The causes of laryngitis have a direct impact on its development, determine the characteristics of the course of the disease. The etiological factor is of interest to physicians when making a diagnosis, to determine the treatment regimen and to decide on the need for anti-epidemic measures.

Article author:
Izvozchikova Nina Vladislavovna

Specialty: infectious diseases specialist, gastroenterologist, pulmonologist.

Total experience: 35 years.

Education: 1975-1982, 1MMI, San gig, high qualification, infectious diseases doctor.

Science degree: doctor of the highest category, PhD.


  1. Infectious diseases.
  2. Parasitic diseases.
  3. Emergency conditions.
  4. HIV
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